The BJP’s new minister, Arjun Ram Meghwal, is in a fix. He loves to cycle to work but his new status as minister of state in the finance ministry might not allow him to do so due to security concerns.
But Meghwal appears determined. “I am aware of the security issues but that doesn’t mean I will stop using bikes completely,” he told HT.
Meghwal is one of two ministers of state in the high-profile ministry. His counterpart working under finance minister Arun Jaitley is Santosh Gangwar.
Meghwal even rode his famous bicycle, complete with a name plate in saffron and green , when he came to take oath at Rashtrapati Bhavan last Tuesday.
The next day, he came to greet the new information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu—again on a bike. “I will continue to use my bicycle as much as possible,” said Meghwal, the BJP’s Lok Sabha MP from Rajasthan.
Security agencies, however, are clear that a minister can’t use a bike.
“Every minister gets a Y-category security cover. Which means round-the-clock personal security officer attached to him and armed guards at his residence,” said a home ministry official.
If Meghwal insists on using bike, Delhi police will give him a security briefing.
Meghwal, the former chief whip of the party in the Lok Sabha, will not be the first minister to shun a car. Former UPA minister Jairam Ramesh used to walk down from his office or Parliament to home. Another UPA minister Veerappa Moily used the Metro.